Veterinary work with wolf hybrid dogs can be challenging. These animals can be just as loving as regular dogs. They are also very loyal to their "pack." Read on about the challenges veterinary workers face and see these animals in a positive light.
If anyone knows me, they know I have a deep love for wolf hybrids. I had my Shadow for 12 wonderful years. He was a Timberwolf/Malmute/German Shepherd. A loving and wonderful animal, it took love and patience to work with him. Veterinary care also took research, time and patience.
To have successful veterinary work with wolf hybrid dogs means research and understanding. In the veterinary field, animal workers need to almost think like wolves. Owners need to think like wolves. With this, you can successfully care for them. Here are a few of the challenges in veterinary work with wolf hybrid dogs:
- They may look like a dog, but they act like a wolf - At about 18 months this cute puppy will come into maturity. They begin to act more like wolves. While not particularly aggressive, they can be very elusive and independent.
- Domestic dog vaccinations may or may not work - Vaccines have never been tested on wolves. Their genetics are similar to dogs. Rabies vaccines are said to fail on wolf hybrids. It is important to fully quarantine the puppies until they have completed all vaccinations.
- They may be more susceptible to cancer - Wolf hybrids can live as long as 16 years in captivity. This is a good time span. However, their genetics are not accustomed to commercial dog foods or environmental factors. I lost my Shadow at 12 to cancer. This was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever experienced. They need to be fed as close to nature as possible. They should also be protected from environmental toxins.
- Training and working with these animals takes understanding and patience - As an animal care technician in your veterinary work with wolf hybrid dogs, you need to learn their behaviors. Teach owners to train with hand signals. They should also never allow wolf hybrids on furniture or beds. Owners need to understand this dog works on the "pack system." This means owners need to maintain the "alpha" position in the pack. Allowing these dogs onto furniture is inviting them to take that "alpha" role and could cause unwanted wolf behaviors to emerge.
In veterinary work with wolf hybrid dogs, there is no need to fear these animals. They are pretty much just like any other dog. Using safety devices can protect you and others in the clinic. Once the animal becomes familiar with you, there may be no need for muzzles or restraints. This part actually just depends on the dog. Some dogs never get used to veterinary care.
One thing is for sure, you can develop a deep love and admiration for these animals. They can steal your heart forever!